Weblog: What do you mean the Wi-Fi doesn't work? The life of a Racing Post reporter
A true National hero
IT'S not very often you end up interviewing the head of government but it's not often you come across a horse like Merigo.
It is only slightly fanciful to suggest that he lifted theheart of a nation with the splendid way he battled back on the run-in to catch Auroras Encore in the Scottish Grand National, repeating his 2010 victory having finished second last year.
So it seemed only natural to find myself getting quotes from First Minister Alex Salmond, who may have been biased as he backed and tipped the winner but who declared it: "A fantastic result for Scotland."
And he did not invent the cheers that grew and grew as the horse - described as 'the ugliest I have seen' by jockey Timmy Murphy - started to get on top.
Plenty of folk to do that cheering and you can always tell that summer is on its way when the hen party crowd start doing their bit to boost racecourse attendances.
Invariably in pink, usually in low-cut tops and short dresses - though they have no monopoly on fashion outrages and the racegoer in leopardskin 'onesie' and luminous red wig today turned out to be a man.
Astonishing start to the day. I'd booked my hotel, a small place just round the corner from the track on Prestwick Road, through work but had to pay the bill myself this morning.
For bed and breakfast, in a completely adequate, clean room with shower that actually provided hot water, fresh, well-cooked bacon too, came to a remarkable £30 - a good deal less than the cost of the petrol it took to get here. (Reluctant to identify the hotel and turn this into a travelogue - or queer my own pitch for future visits - but if you go on laterooms.com and look for a place that shares its name with the home of golf you'll not go far wrong).
Surprisingly, I got the last copy of the Postin the petrol station down the road at 7.15am - they'd either been overrun by insomniac punters desperate to crack the Scottish National or they'd left themselves short on the biggest racing day of the year in these parts.
Though they were in better shape than the former racing photographer of the year who left his wallet in a petrol station just off the M6 in Merseyside on his drive up overnight and spent most of this morning on the phone negotiating its release from the police station it had been handed in to.
But at least he arrived here to find the Wi-Fi in excellent shape. All hail 'Stevie', the IT guru on the racecourse staff whose sterling efforts ensured there was no repeat of yesterday's technological calamities.
Other than the stray text message I got just before the first, asking if I could get any update on Frankel who cantered this morning. To which I replied that I would certainly try but it might be an easier task forour reporter at Newbury where the wonder horse's brother Noble Mission had just won.